Book-store is now OPEN: During the Tue/Fri Classes and Sun Services!
Of course, one must enter within the stipulated time given below.
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Thursday, April 01. Swami Yogananda’s Birthday – There will be a morning special chant; then in the evening, after Arati, there will be the singing of the ‘Birth-day Song’ and Bio reading.
Saturday April 3, Noon to 8:00 pm: Day-long Silent Meditation, Noon-8pm. Simple Veg. lunch, Tea/coffee/snacks will be provided. The doors will close at noon-time.
Attending Programs at Vedanta Society in Person: (Only those, who have no COVID symptoms and are wearing face-mask allowed)
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm (Except Sunday)
For a personal meeting with the Swami, please seek an appointment by emailing: [email protected]
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. April 02||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, Meditation and A Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. April 04||5:00 – 6:30 pm: Easter lecture on ‘Sowed in Corruption, Raised in in-corruption’
by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by the vesper service
|Tue. April 06||7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’ by Swami Yogatmananda|
|Morning||5:45 – 6:45 AM: Meditation
6:45 – 7:00 AM: Chanting followed by a short reading from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
7:00 – 7:25 AM: A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all, but one must enter before 5:55 am
|Evening||(Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all, but one must enter before 7:10 am
Sun, Mar 28: 5 to 6:30pm: Birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. A special song and Sun lecture on Power of NAME. 16 attended in-person, many more on-line.
Sun Mar 28, 7:30-8:30 pm: Swami gave a talk on the Hymn ‘Meditation on Sri Ramakrishna’ on the Vedanta.Providence channel of YouTube. This talk was mainly for the devotees from Queens/Bronx area of New York. Of course, many others joined.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Mar 26 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 49: Dialogue between Devahuti and Kapila
Devahuti, mother of Kapila, seeks her son’s spiritual guidance to eradicate her infatuation with sense objects of the world. Like Devahuti, we may intellectually understand that God alone is real, but our mind keeps being dragged toward sense objects; thus, we get bound and suffer. Though God is One and Unchanging, on this unchanging entity appear all various names and forms. This sense of multiplicity leads to suffering and fear. We require a guru who will show us the path. Kapila tells his mother, I shall explain to you this path of spiritual realization which leads to the supreme good–wherein the pleasures and pains of sansara meet total and irreversible abeyance. A path indicates two things: 1) Practicality – there is road to reach the goal; 2) More importantly, we have to walk on the path, assiduously following the guru’s teaching and transforming our lives in accordance with their guidance. Kapila explains that this yoga is eternal and had been expounded earlier to the sages of ancient times (in earlier incarnations). Just like a fire can both create devastation and also sustain life, by staving off bitter cold, the mind can bind us as well as free us. When the mind is drawn toward the products of prakriti (names and forms), it will be bound. But when purified through spiritual practices (yoga), the mind bends toward God, bringing us liberation. God is the only shelter, the only axe which can cut the tree of worldly bondage. Sri Ramakrishna said: God is incomprehensible to the impure mind, but can be seen by the Pure Mind. What is the impure mind? It is the mind that is polluted by lust and greed, which are the effects of “I and mine.” Freed from these, the mind merges in God. We have to replace the false understanding (I and mine) with the right understanding (Thou and Thine). Spiritual life means getting attached to truth. Worldly life is getting attached to a mirage.
Sunday, Mar 28 – The Power of the NAME
The opening song was Chant Unceasingly the Name of the Lord, with text by Sri Chaitanya, music by John Schlenck, and performed by Abhijit Sarcar.
Taking the name of God is the most accessible way of realizing Divinity. Realization of God means that God becomes real for us. Sri Chaitanya taught people to keep repeating God’s name. As a result, thousands of people underwent a life transformation. We need not only education, but training. Lord Krishna is what is really attracting us and is the source of all attraction. Chanting the name of God cleanses the mirror of the heart. The mind does not tell the true nature of things, because of impurities. By chanting the name of God, the spiritual path has been made easy. The mantra is the name of God, and repetition of it is called japa. We can repeat God’s name at any time, but we should especially do so in the morning and evening at fixed times. In the Russian book The Way of a Pilgrim, the pilgrim practices the teaching to pray unceasingly. Attraction does not go naturally to the name of God, so we need to cultivate it. Sri Chaitanya says that we need to practice humility and have broadness of heart, to be worthy to repeat the name of God. Sri Ramakrishna taught that faith in the name of God gives power to the name of God.
Tuesday, Mar 23 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
Page # 605-606 : Pilgrimage of the Master as a Guru
Sri Ramakrishna used to transition between the experience of Unbroken Oneness (Satchidananda) and that of names and forms. In Oneness the multiplicity was gone but, in the multiplicity,, He always had the awareness of the underlying Oneness. He could clearly see how people were stuck on their path of spiritual progress and would advise accordingly. We all want freedom but, since our methods are wrong, not only do we not get freedom, but our bondage gets tightened. During His pilgrimage, Sri Ramakrishna observed and instructed various aspirants according to their paths, manifesting his teachership, the very purpose of His advent.
Another reason why Sri Ramakrishna went to pilgrimage was to enhance the holiness of these holy places. The presence of God becomes more palpable when a God-incarnation visits the holy places. They leave behind the holy vibrations that help people with their sadhana when they visit these places later. These vibrations help remove obstacles in our path of sadhana. Places of pilgrimage are also crowded by worldly people. If we are not careful to focus our attention on the holy associations, the worldly tendencies start manifesting in us and influence us. When we visit holy places, we should grasp the divine experience and upon return shouldn’t let the mind shift to worldly thoughts. It takes time for the holy thoughts to leave an impression on us. If we move our mind away too quickly, we will not benefit from such a visit.